Presented in partnership with Expedia Group Media Solutions and Destination Marketing Podcast. Leaders from our industry will judge the entries. Submissions are open until June 28, 2021. A nominal application fee $99 per entry. Email [email protected] for more information.
Gina Raimondo, immediate past governor of Rhode Island and the state’s first female governor, has been confirmed as U.S. Commerce Secretary. The position plays a key role in tourism-related matters.
Tori Emerson Barnes, EVP at U.S. Travel Association, has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Women in Travel” by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). A full list of honorees is found here.
Todd Bertka has abruptly resigned as director of the Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau after two years in the job. Before moving to Waco, Bertka held similar positions in Virginia, South Carolina, Hawaii and Indiana. A new director is being recruited by the Waco city manager, according to local news reports.
Mikila Lawless, formerly of Visit Oakland, has joined af&co., a restaurant and hospitality public relations firm in San Francisco.
Saluting Gladys Mae West, age 91, to whom we owe GPS. The American mathematician is known for her contributions to the mathematical modeling of the shape of the Earth, and her work on the development of the satellite geodesy models that were eventually incorporated into the Global Positioning System.
Do you know a rising star? Could it be you? Nominate someone today! Emerging Tourism Stars — in partnership with MMGY Global — is a new program to recognize astute individuals in the eTourism Community of digital travel and tourism professionals. * Learn more here *
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President & CEO — Visit Phoenix
President & CEO — Explore Fairbanks
President & CEO — Visit Franklin, TN
President & CEO — Big Sky Chamber of Commerce & Visit Big Sky, MT
Executive Director — Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitor Bureau, Wausau, WI
President & CEO AND Communications/PR/Social Media Manager — Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority
President & CEO — Visit San Antonio
Chief Executive Officer — Bermuda Tourism Authority
President & CEO — Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA), Bangkok
President & CEO — VisitGreenvilleSC
Executive Director — Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau
Chief Executive Officer — Experience Olympia & Beyond, WA
President & CEO — Washington County Visitors Association, OR
Vice President Marketing — Visit Florida
Vice President Marketing & Communications — Experience Kissimmee
Director of Marketing & Communications — Discover Long Island, NY
SVP of Multicultural and Community Development — Broward County / Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Vice President of Sales — Explore Asheville
Chief Marketing Officer — Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director — Corpus Christi Sports Commission, TX
Executive Director — Explore Lawrenceville, KS
Executive Director-Tourism — Visit Frederick, MD
Executive Director — Visit St. Mary’s, Leonardtown, MD
Executive Director — River Parishes Tourist Commission, LA
Executive Director — Acadia Parish, LA
Executive Director — Park County Travel County, Cody, WY
Director — Emporia Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, KS
SVP, Multicultural and Community Development — Greater Fort Lauderdale, CVB, Broward County
VP-Marketing, Visit Halifax, Nova Scotia
Communications & PR Manager — Visit Durango, CO
Public Relations Manager — Visit California
Director of Communications — Colorado Tourism Office
Tourism Research Analyst — Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Digital Content Manager — Division of Marketing, Tourism, and the Arts/ State of Maryland
Digital Content Specialist — Visit Toronto
Director Content Strategy — Choose Chicago
Creative Director — Memphis Tourism
PR & Communications Manager AND Finance & HR Manager— Visit SLO CAL San Luis Obispo, CA
Director Marketing & Communications — Visit Stockton, CA
Director of Marketing & Communications — Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, CA
Research & Analytics Manager AND Leisure Sales Manager AND Leisure Experience Manager — Visit Corpus Christi, TX
Sr. Manager-SEO AND Influencer Marketing Coordinator — NYC & Company
Sales & Marketing Manager — Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, Lafourche Parish
Digital Marketing Coordinator/Social Media — Wild Horse Pass Development Authority, Chandler, AZ
Marketing Manager — Visit Placer Valley, Rocklin, CA
Business Development Coordinator — Visit Visalia, CA
Stakeholder Relations & Marketing Manager — Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services, Tiffin, OH
Business Analyst — Visit Grand Junction, CO
Tourism Director —Discover Front Royal, VA
Tourism Director — Visit Yankton, SD
Travel Specialist — Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
Marketing Manager (temp.) — City of Pearland, TX
Digital Campaign Manager — Tourism New Zealand, Santa Monica
Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist — Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Wash., D.C.
Marketing Consultant — Grand Canyon Resort Corporation, Las Vegas
Account Executive, Sales & Marketing (NYC) AND Account Executive (Myrtle Beach) AND Senior Media Planner (Overland Park, KS) — MMGY Global
Business Development Executive AND Communications Specialist AND Product Manager — Simpleview, Tucson
Research Analyst — Longwoods International, Columbus, OH
Director of Marketing — Skift, NYC
SVP of Content, Executive Editor — Lonely Planet, Flexible or Remote
Content Strategist — San Francisco Chronicle
Marketing Manager — Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
Sr. Director, Marketing – Tourism — Brookfield Properties, LA or Chicago
Director of Marketing — Santa Barbara Zoo, CA
Director of Marketing, Hamburg Gaming — Delaware North, Hamburg, NY
National Tourism Director (LA or Chicago) AND Marketing Automation Manager (NYC) — Hornblower Cruises & Events
Marketing Manager — Lindblad Expeditions, NYC
General Manager (Las Vegas) AND Marketing Manager (Seattle) AND Manager – Group & Tourism Sales (Atlanta) — Legends
Manager – Special Events & Booking — LA Clippers, Inglewood, CA
Director of PR — Peek.com, Remote
Market Manager — Trip.com, NYC
Managing Director, Business Leadership, Social — VMLY&R, Detroit
Associate Director, Digital Strategy — Ketchum Communications, NYC
Associate, Digital Paid Media — Development Counsellors International, NYC
SEO & Digital Marketing Specialist —Compass Media LLC, Orange Beach, AL
Account Executive — Aqua Marketing & Communications, St. Petersburg, FL
PPC Specialist — Mediagistic, Tampa, FL
Social Media Strategist/Content Creator — BlackDog Advertising, Miami
Digital Producer — Ciber Global, Orlando
Account Coordinator — Lou Hammond Group, Denver
Director Client Services — Workshop, Lake Placid / Saratoga Springs, NY
Content Marketing Manager — Atlanta History Center
Director of Business Development — Ohio History Center, Columbus
Speechwriter — Office of the Mayor, City of Atlanta
Sr. Director, Marketing & Brand Engagement — LA28 (The Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2028), Los Angeles
Content Marketing Manager — Taboola, NYC
Social Media Manager — Random Golf Club, Austin
Director, Diversity & Inclusion — Facebook
Director of Content — Snap Inc., Los Angeles
Consultants — Amtrak Vacations, Remote
Sr. Communications Consultant — Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, (12-mo. role), Palo Alto, CA
We’re sharing a post from Wendy Olson Killion, Global Senior Vice President, Expedia Group Media Solutions who asks a question everyone wants answered: When will international travel return?
“Last week, I participated in a panel discussion during Visit California’s 2021 Virtual Outlook Forum, alongside Adam Sacks, President, Tourism Economics and Ivar Satero, Airport Director, San Francisco International Airport.
The conversation explored the burning question on every destination marketer’s mind since the onset of the pandemic: When will international travel return? We approached this question through various angles during our discussion on economic insights and developments impacting recovery, as well as shifts in travel sentiment, to help destination marketers and other travel brands best prepare for the return of international travel.
Below are key themes that will help shape destinations’ international marketing strategies on the road to recovery.
Vaccines will open the door to international travel
Adam kicked off our discussion sharing some overall data and trends on travel recovery and the outlook of international travel.
According to global data from Brand USA, most people would be willing to take an international trip if they were vaccinated.
This closely aligns with the findings of our latest custom research, which showed that 57% of travelers would feel comfortable traveling if a vaccine was widely available. At the time, we had not yet received concrete news regarding successful vaccine trials, so we expect those numbers would be even higher today given the progress we’ve seen over the past few months.
Budget cuts had forced Visit Baltimore to pause its Education and Training Foundation, threatening the Diversity Apprenticeship Program.
Now, Guinness Open Gate Brewery (the US-based home of blonde lager and a Maryland visitor experience since 2018) is making a one million dollar commitment to its home via the Guinness Gives Back Baltimore Community Fund that includes fully funding the DMO’s program for the next year, with plans to support it for five years.
Visit Baltimore will facilitate the end goal of creating 10 or more hospitality career pathways with a focus on Baltimore’s Black community.
The 600-hour paid apprenticeship aims at employment by Visit Baltimore or a partner organization by promoting career interest in the hospitality and craft beer industries among minority students. In a partnership with SearchWide Global, apprentices shadow at Visit Baltimore, Guinness Open Gate Brewery and another local tourism entity in a three-part immersive learning experience. Applications are currently open; eligible candidates must be 21 years of age or older. Read more here.
Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau has hired Jason Outman as its next president and CEO, effective mid-January 2021. Outman, who succeeds Jeff Seifried, comes from Experience Columbia SC which he joined in 2010, serving as executive director since 2014.
Discover Kalamazoo has appointed Jane Ghosh as president & CEO. A long-time Kalamazoo area resident, Ghosh comes from outside the industry. She brings three decades of experience leading marketing at Johnson & Johnson and The Kellogg Company and as GM manager and executive director at Ferrara Candy Company. Ghosh succeeds Greg Ayers, who resigned in April after 12 years at the helm.
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau announced Candace Carr Strauss will join as president/CEO in February 2021. She is currently CEO of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce & Visit Big Sky in Montana. She replaces Jennifer Wesselhoff who left for a similar role in Park City, Utah.
Paul Beirnes is the newly appointed deputy director of tourism for Naples, Marco Island and Everglades CVB. Beirnes joins the team at Florida’s Paradise Coast with over 30 years of destination marketing experience that includes leadership roles at the likes of Hilton Worldwide, Visit Orlando and Disney.
Heather Brown is named as the interim executive director of Lake of the Ozarks CVB. Following seven years with the DMO, she left the Missouri organization five years ago while serving as director of member services. Tim Jacobsen, former executive director, recently took a position with Fort Smith Advertising and Promotions Commission in Arkansas.
Technology and travel leader Scott Garner has been appointed chief revenue officer at Journera, the real-time data exchange platform for creating more seamless travel. He was most recently chief commercial officer at ADARA, and was previously in executive roles at United Airlines and Orbitz Worldwide. Read the announcement here.
At Expedia Group Media Solutions headquarters in Seattle, Wendy Olson Killion is promoted to Global Senior Vice President and General Manager. Her thoughts: “This next year will be focused on helping to reignite the spirit of travel and MeSo that 2020 has tried to stomp out.I look forward to continuing to push our platform to aid the industry and our partners into recovery. I will work to be a worthy leader of an amazing team who has pushed through and persevered.”
Eric J. Lund, former president & CEO of Visit Estes Park for 12 years, takes on a role as VP – tourism development at the historic Stanley Hotel of “The Shining” fame. Prior to his Colorado days, Lund was previously with San Diego Tourism Authority.
Chelsea McCready departs her role as VP-Research & Market Analysis at Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. after more than a decade. She joins CoStar Group/STR as director of hospitality market analytics, Southeast.
Deb Hickok, president and CEO of Explore Fairbanks, is stepping down in June 2021 following 20 years in the job. Prior to joining Explore Fairbanks, Hickok served at the Bucks County CVB, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau and the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce/Division of Tourism.
From U.S. Travel Association: “Congrats to our own President and CEO, Roger Dow, and EVP of Public Affairs and Policy, Tori Barnes, for being recognized by @thehill for your relentless efforts amid this incredibly challenging year. It has never been more important for the travel industry’s voice to be heard.”
Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, has been appointed Vice Chair of the U.S. Travel & Tourism Advisory Board for a two-year term. The 27-member group currently chaired by Kurt Ekert, president & CEO of CWT (formerly Carlson Wagonlit Travel), is the advisory body to the secretary of commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. The deputy assistant secretary for travel and tourism serves as the board’s executive director. Other DMO members are: Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director, Maryland Office of Tourism and Film; David Gilbert, president & CEO, Destination Cleveland and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission; Debbie Johnson, director, Arizona Office of Tourism.
The U.S. Travel Association has named Richard Peterson, president & CEO of U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council to the National Council of Attractions and Experiences (NCAE) Board of Advisors. Peterson is also currently serving as director-at-large at U.S. Travel Association.
Brand USA has announced two new members and one reappointed member of the 2021 board of directors.
- Noel Irwin Hentschel, chairman and CEO, American Tours International, LLC (reappointed, representing the travel distribution sector)
- Kristen Esposito, principal, Esposito Global Partners (newly appointed, representing the small business/retail sector)
- Keiko Matsudo Orrall, executive director, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (newly appointed, representing one of two seats for an official of a state tourism office)
Brand USA Board Chair: Kyle Edmiston, president & CEO, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau
Brand USA Vice Chairs: Paul Brown, co-founder & CEO of Inspire Brands and Mark Hoplamazian, president & CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Treasurer: Alice Norsworthy, chief marketing officer, Universal Parks & Resorts
Additional Members: Todd Davidson, CEO, Travel Oregon; Dean Kantaras, owner and managing attorney, K. Dean Kantaras, P.A.; Donald Moore, Sr. VP of business rental sales & global corporate accounts, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.; Tom O’Toole, associate dean for executive education and clinical professor of marketing, Northwestern University.
In Memoriam: Marion “Butch” Fox, president/CEO at Jeff Davis Parish Economic Development, Tourism and Chamber of Commerce since 2007. She had worked in the industry for 30+ years serving at several CVBs, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Office of Economic Development, and most recently had been active with Louisiana Travel Association and Louisiana Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
In Memoriam: Charlotte Bell, CEO, Tourism Association of Canada since 2015, based in Ottawa.
Sacramento, Calif.-based advertising agency Mering has agreed to be acquired by Columbus, Ohio-based ad agency TSY (The Shipyard) Enterprises Inc. Mering clients include Visit California; San Diego Tourism Authority; KSL Resorts; Monarch Beach Resort; Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Merlin Entertainments, (Legoland); Wine Institute; California Grown; and Visit Napa Valley. >> Open positions are: Designer in Columbus, Ohio and Sr. Copywriter in Newport Beach, CA.
President & CEO — Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Lansing (new, deadline 1/15/2021)
VP Marketing — Visit Florida, Tallahassee (new)
President & CEO — Visit Orlando
President & CEO — Destination B.C., Vancouver
President & CEO — Destination Madison
President — Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau
President & CEO — Visit Greenville SC
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer — Bermuda Tourism Authority, NYC
Sr. VP, Multicultural & Community Development — Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Director of Sales — Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau
Public Relations Manager — Destination Cleveland
CEO, Lake Superior Community Partnership, Marquette, MI
Director of Research & Market Intelligence AND Tourism Partnership Manager — Virginia Tourism Corporation, Richmond
Marketing Manager — Tulsa Regional Tourism
PR & Communications Manager AND Finance & HR Manager — Visit SLO CAL, San Luis Obispo, CA
Deputy Director of Marketing — Okaloosa County, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Communications & Marketing Manager — Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, NY
User Experience Designer — NYC & Company
Business Analyst — Visit Grand Junction, CO
Manager, Paid Media — Discover The Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach, FL
Content Coordinator — Visit Philadelphia
CVB Communications Coordinator — City of Grapevine, TX
CVB Sales Consultant — City of Plano, TX
CVB Marketing Specialist — Geary County, Junction City, KS
Executive Director — Douglas County Travel & Tourism, GA
Executive Director — Visit St. Mary’s, Leonardtown, MD
Convention & Tourism Rep — Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
Tourism Director — Muskogee Tourism Authority, OK
Marketing Coordinator, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, CA
Marketing Coordinator — Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, NY
Sr. Media Analyst — Net Conversion, Orlando
Product Manager AND Production Coordinator — Simpleview, Tucson
VP – Global Field Marketing — Hard Rock International, Davie, FL
VP Sales & Marketing — The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO
Sr. VP Customer Marketing — Ontrak, Inc., NYC
Director of Partner Services — Huddle Up Group, Phoenix
Program Development Manager — Panorama Travel Solutions (a Wyndham Destinations Company), NYC
Chief Experience Officer — Brightline Trains, Miami
Sr. Communication & Marketing Rep, Aviation — Port of Oakland, CA
Director of Tourism — Six Flags, Valencia, CA
Director Sales & Marketing — Legends (Illuminarium Experience), Atlanta
Marketing Manager — Legends (Sky View Observatory), Seattle
Digital Marketing Manager — SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, Los Angeles
Vice President, Marketing Social Media — Audible, Newark, NJ
Content Marketing Manager — Cuvée, Denver
Marketing Automation Manager, Corporate — Hornblower Cruises, NYC
Director of Marketing — TurnKey Vacation Rentals, Angel Fire, NM
Copywriter — Development Counsellors International, NYC
Director, LATAM Field Marketing — Twilio, Remote USA
Content Business Development Manager — Twitter, San Francisco
Digital Marketing Lead, Partnerships — Facebook, San Francisco
|NYC-based Peloton plans to add 1,600 employees across member support, sales, people, field operations, and other corporate functions, from business leaders to managers in Plano, TX, quadrupling its footprint at that location.|
Hear from American Hotel & Lodging Association, Expedia Group Media Solutions and MMGY Global.
Seven in ten Americans will not travel for Christmas, says a study released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
“This holiday season will be an especially difficult time for all Americans, and our industry is no exception.
Fewer people will be traveling, and business travel remains nearly non-existent. That’s why it’s so important for Congress to pass a relief bill now. Millions of Americans are out of work, and thousands of small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. We cannot afford to wait until the next Congress is sworn in for relief. They need help now.” — Chip Rogers, president and CEO.
The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted November 2-4, 2020 by Morning Consult on behalf of AHLA. Read more here. Plus this.
At the annual partners conference last week, Expedia Group revealed research conducted in October 2020 by Northstar Research Partners involving 11,000 people in 11 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the UK, and the U.S.
“In short, our research revealed some good news: Though consumer confidence in travel varies by country and generation, 1 in 2 travelers feel optimistic—comfortable or even excited—about taking a trip in the next 12 months. The importance of hygiene measures, flexibility, and financial peace of mind is more universal: seventy five percent of travelers said measures such as mask enforcement, reduced capacity or contactless services, and flexibility (like easy refunds or cancellation policies), will inform where they stay on their next trip.” —Monya Mandich, VP – Marketing
- Pandemic fatigue is setting in and pent-up demand continues to grow as people seek leisure travel to rejuvenate and recharge. Inspire travelers who are still dreaming and engage those who may be ready to travel with content and messaging highlighting rest and relaxation.
- Travelers want to minimize risk to their health and protect themselves and their loved ones from financial setbacks. Information on pandemic measures should be at the forefront of brand communications, supported by reservation flexibility or full refunds to provide travelers with financial peace of mind,.
- Use multiple channels—including news media, travel sites and advertising—to share reassuring content and imagery, demonstrating social distancing or reduced capacity, contactless service, mask enforcement policies, and heightened hygiene measures.
In related news:
Expedia Group brands recently launched the COVID-19 Travel Advisor, an interactive tool powered by Sherpa, that helps travelers find up-to-date information about travel restrictions in the destination they plan to visit, such as quarantine, face mask and COVID-19 test requirements. Travelers can enter details such as their origin and destination, departure date and the country that issued their passport to learn more before their trip.
“As the travel industry turns its eyes toward recovery in 2021, DMOs have an opportunity to evolve to a more community-centric model. At MMGY Global, we see this taking shape across four key pillars. And, CEOs in the industry like Cathy Ritter, Elliott Ferguson, Paul Nursey and Gretchen Hall are starting to lead the charge.
Tourism is the world’s front door.” — Craig Compagnone, COO
- Community Stewardship
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Responsible and Regenerative Tourism
- Evolving the Model
In related news:
Some 1,200 American leisure and business travelers were surveyed in mid-November for the “Travel Intentions Pulse Survey” by MMGY Intel.
Findings reveal that one-in-two would take the Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible, a rise from 45% in the previous survey. Also, 40% percent would wait at least a few months to see if it is effective; 9% said they would not get the vaccine. More key findings:
- Respondents likely to take a domestic leisure trip during the next six months remained steady (at 41%) after the six-point decline observed in November.
- Respondents likely to take a domestic business trip during the next six months increased to 38% from 34%. One-in-five (21%) business travelers likely to attend a conference or convention, up from 17% last month.
- One-in-four (24%) is likely to attend an off-site business meeting, up from 22%.
- Respondents likely to take an international flight during the next six months rose to 25% this month, reaching the highest level observed to date.
- Respondents likely to take a river cruise also increased from 17% to 21%, surpassing their likelihood of taking an ocean cruise.
- Respondents likely to travel by personal car during the next six months rose to 67% following a two-month decline.
- Travel by car remains the most likely form of transportation. One in 5 travelers (20%) is willing to drive more than 500 miles (each way) for a leisure trip.